Dear friends in Christ
The Gospel of the Mass this Sunday is an invitation to joy because it is an invitation to love. Once again the Pharisees approach Jesus to ask Him a question and thus test Him. What is the greatest commandment of the Law? To love God and our neighbour as ourself is the essence of this our Christian life and thus of all the joy we will find on earth. Christ asks us to bring the joy of our Faith to every place that we go: our homes, our places of work, the people we meet by chance. Many people we meet are sad and troubled; they don’t know how to find joy and peace. Part-and-parcel of our Christian obligation is to bring the real joy of the Gospel into the lives of such people. The smiling face of Our Lord should shine through our lives and works. Blessed John Henry Newman expresses this beautifully in his favourite prayer:
Dear Jesus, shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel your presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me, but only Jesus!
Stay with me and then I will begin to shine as you shine,
so to shine as to be a light to others.
The light, O Jesus, will be all from you; none of it will be mine.
It will be you, shining on others through me.
Let me thus praise you in the way which you love best,
by shining on those around me.
Let me preach you without preaching, not by words but by example,
by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do,
the evident fullness of the love my heart bears for you.
Next weekend we shall be celebrating All Saints (transferred from 1st) and All Souls the following Monday (3rd). These two days which occur at the start of November - month of the Holy Souls - set the mood for the last days and weeks of the liturgical calendar which focus our thoughts and prayers on life eternal. As usual we can place the names of our Departed loved-ones in the box at the back of church (using the envelopes provided) and they will be included in the Masses and Offices throughout the month.
God bless you!
Fr Kevin Hale